Top Social Media Updates You Need to Know: June 2021 Edition

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series Social media platform updates

Summer is here and the time is right for sunshine and ice cream. The weather is warming up and people are looking forward to refreshing their wardrobe for the season. 

As the COVID-19 vaccine roll out increases around the world, business and activities are gradually opening up. Will social media usage drop as in-person gatherings increase? How are social media platforms embracing this change? Are they ramping up to adapt to new shopping behaviours or is it still business as usual?

Below are the most recent updates and features from some of the major social media platforms.  

Twitter

Twitter Spaces is now on Desktop. Monetization Opportunities to come soon.

Audio streaming has garnered a lot of attention ever since Clubhouse came on the scene in 2020. However, in the race for audio dominance, Twitter is leading the pack. Not only did Twitter Spaces launch on Android before Clubhouse, but Twitter’s live audio conversation feature is now also available on mobile and desktop.

Twitter Spaces allows users and brands to engage with their followers beyond Twitters’ 280 character limit. Additionally, it fosters community building and since brands can speak to their niche in front of their audience. Jumping on a new service like Twitter Spaces also shows that the brand is ahead of the curve vs. waiting to see everyone else’s response! Brands like P&G, Universal Pictures and more are already using it to great success.

Since Twitter Spaces launched late last year, it has been rolling out several features that are similar to and compete with other audio social channels like Clubhouse. For now however, only accounts with over 600 followers can host a space. 

In the future, Twitter plans to offer a way for accounts and businesses to monetize Spaces via ticketing. These accounts will be able to set ticket prices and the number of available tickets for any given event. Details on when this will be available and how revenue will be split, will be shared in the coming months. 

Twitter is Testing Ads in Fleets 

Twitter announced that it’s testing ads in Fleets, its Instagram story-esque feature. Fleet ads will bring full-screen, vertical format ads to Twitter for the first time. The ads will appear in between fleets and allow brands to connect their message to consumer’s everyday activities. 

Starting in June, Twitter will be partnering with a few advertisers to test this new feature. Fleet ads will be visible to a small number of people in the US on both Android and iOS. 

According to Twitter, “Fleet ads support images and video in 9:16 format. Videos can be 30-seconds long and users can also add a “swipe-up” call-to-action” to their fleets. 

Advertisers can measure their Fleets ads using standard Twitter Ads metrics like impressions, profile visits, clicks, and website visits. For video ads, advertisers can measure using video views, 6s video views, starts, completes, quartile reporting and more.

No other Twitter ad formats offer the same full screen format so this feature poses a unique opportunity for brands and marketers to share and connect with their audiences.


Instagram

Instagram adds a new “Drops” feature for product showcases or limited feature releases.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a rise in eCommerce which has pushed social media platforms to rise to meet the demands of this boom. In an effort to strengthen its eCommerce offerings, Instagram introduced Drops in late May, 2021.  Drops is a section that will be located under the Shops tab on Instagram and will allow sellers to create buzz or build hype around an upcoming product or a limited product release. 

A screenshot of Instagram's drops tab.
Source: AdAge

Drops will appear as a preview of a product that is intended to garner attention and public interest. Brands have been using Instagram for “Drop-like” campaigns for some time now. However, with this update, Instagram is creating a central location for such campaigns, giving it even more attention and making it easier for potential customers to shop.

Businesses who have registered for eCommerce tools on the app will need to use the ‘Product Launch’ feature on Facebook in order to qualify for a “Drops” feature listing. You will also have access to other features such as product launch stickers, reminder posts in Reels or Stories that will aid an effective launch campaign. 

The new feature is currently only available in the US via the Instagram app (on IOS and Android devices only). 

Instagram tests Reels Ads; expands test to Canada, UK, US and France.

Reels ads were first tested in Australia, Brazil, India and Germany in April 2021 and has now expanded to include Canada, UK, US and France. 

Reels was Instagram’s answer to TikTok’s growing popularity. It lets creators record and edit 15 or 30- second videos with audio, speed, AR effects and more. Reels Ads will appear in between other organic reels in your timeline but will come with a “sponsored” tag similar to  instagram stories ads or TikTok ads.

In addition, creators will be able to choose from several CTA buttons including “Install now”. This update will provide a more immersive experience for users. There is limited concrete data about Reels usage and popularity. However, this feature is worth including in your marketing planning and spend.


TikTok 

TikTok Publishes Marketing Guide for SMBs.

TikTok loves small businesses and as part of its effort to celebrate and encourage more SMB’s to use the platform, the company has released a new marketing guide for SMBs. The guide teaches how small and medium sized businesses can leverage the platform’s features and audiences for a winning marketing strategy.

TikTok marketing guide for SMBs

The 60- page guide outlines the must-have advertising essentials for SMBs including a general audience breakdown, success stories and how to get inspiration for effective content. The guide is a must read for business owners who are looking to excel on TikTok.
Last month, we published a post on how to boost TikTok  videos. If you missed it, you can check it out here.


Pinterest

Pinterest tests out live streaming events

With a 3 day event in late May 2021, Pinterest hosted a series of live stream events. These events were designed not only to test this feature but also to give Pinterest valuable insights on the development and future roll out of the live events feature. The event also featured 21 of the platforms top influencers across food, fashion and lifestyle.

Live events have boomed over the last year and with almost every other social platform having this functionality, this feature is long overdue for the image and video based platform.

“As a visual platform, people discover billions of ideas on Pinterest every day. And we’re always looking for new ways to help them bring those ideas to life,” said Pinterest head of content and creators, David Temple.

It’s left to be seen what additional e-commerce functionalities like shopping will be added to Pinterest live events.


Quick Recap (Social Media Updates):

  • Instagram: adds a new “Drops” feature for product showcases or limited feature releases
  • Twitter: Testings Reels ads and Launches Twitter Spaces on Desktop and mobile web.
  • TikTok: Publishes a guide marketing guide for SMBs
  • Pinterest: Tests Live streaming events 

Tune in next month for another round of social media updates!


If you are looking to improve your social media results, or have questions regarding the latest platform updates, we’d love to chat!